Claims based on sexual harassment can find legal support in Colorado state law and federal legislation. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it unlawful to allow two separate forms of sexual harassment in workplaces: quid pro quo harassment and hostile work environment harassment. Past posts on this blog have discussed quid pro quo harassment, and this post will dig into the elements of hostile work environment claims.
No part of this post should be read or used as legal advice. All questions and concerns about employment-based sexual harassment should be directed to knowledgeable employment law attorneys.
What is a hostile work environment?
Hostile work environments based on sexual harassment must be proven in order for victims’ claims to be honored. A hostile work environment is one in which a victim is the recipient of unwelcome sexual attention, and that attention is so severe or pervasive that it creates an offensive or abusive work environment. Examples of sexual attention or conduct that may serve as evidence of sexual harassment in a hostile work environment can include unwanted touching or comments of a sexual nature, jokes or office banter this is sexual in content, and other offensive actions or words.
What considerations will be reviewed to determine a hostile work environment?
There are many considerations that adjudicating bodies can review when deciding if the conduct of a worker, workers, or employer arises to a hostile work environment. Some of those considerations may include:
- How often the sexual harassment happened
- The number of victims who suffered sexual harassment
- The type of harassment (physical or verbal)
- The employment position of the harasser relative to the victim
These are only some of the factors that can influence the outcome of a sexual harassment case based on an alleged hostile work environment. To learn more about filing a claim based on sexual harassment, discrimination, or other wrongful workplace conduct, readers should reach out to their trusted employment law attorneys for advice.